Friday, October 1 2010,
Digital TV The BBC's iPlayer is the most user-friendly catch-up TV service in the UK, while Sky Player lacks sufficiently clear navigation features, a new report has claimed.
According to a study conducted by user experience consultancy Webcredible, iPlayer achieved an 88% rating and was praised for being the "most usable video on-demand offering".
STV Player, the Scottish ITV licence holder's video on-demand platform, came in second place with a 76% rating.
STV's head of digital Alistair Brown said: "We always try to put our audiences at the centre of what we do and I'm delighted that this has been recognised by an independent usability report.
"I'm particularly pleased as the STV Player was developed on an extremely cost effective basis and in a very short timescale; the site and its production infrastructure were designed and developed over 12 weeks by the in-house team at STV. We have work scheduled to enhance the service in the next few months."
Also in the Webcredible rankings, Demand Five came in third with 72%, followed by Channel 4's 4OD with 68% and ITV Player with 60%.
Bringing up the rear was Sky's online TV service Sky Player, which "lost marks by not having a clear explanation on the differences between its subscription packages and the programmes that fall under these different packages, making it harder for site visitors to find a programme to watch".
However, Webcredible noted that Sky Player was the only paid-for model out of the six services analysed, and had a "more complex commercialised offering".
The company based the scores on ten different categories, including the VOD site's ease of use, search functionality and additional features, such as links to social media sites.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Webcredible's director Trenton Moss said: "Despite the overall high scores, it's surprising that the sites reviewed do not make more of an effort to engage their users.
"The functionality offered by many of the VOD sites is very similar, so user engagement is an area where sites can really look to differentiate themselves.
"This lack of engagement is particularly important for broadcaster VOD [services] to compete with sites like YouTube and new market players such as SeeSaw."
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